Does Employer Philanthropy Matter To You?
There is a lot of information today indicating how important giving back to the community within the corporate environment. Forbes has written about it, and the idea has been featured in Fortune and Entrepreneur. Most of these articles focus on why volunteering and philanthropy are good for business. What about how these things are good for you, the employees? Does the community involvement of your employer matter to you in the bigger picture of your career? And, more importantly, should it? Let’s take a closer look at why programs for giving back should be part of your consideration when accepting a new position.
- The reputation of the company. One of the primary reasons you might want to consider working for a company with a strong culture of volunteering and philanthropy is what this means to their reputation. Look at how they are involved in the community and the overall perception of the organization. Just because a company does participate in community activities, doesn’t automatically mean they are the right fit for you. Look at companies with missions similar to your values and see how they act in the greater community.
- The value of team work. A company that engages in philanthropy and volunteering is likely a company that values team work. They encourage their staff to work together. They may provide time off for volunteering or organize company-wide activities. Other companies may focus on raising money within the office for designated causes chose by the staff. When you’re looking for a company, see how they manage their programs to give back to the community and decide what environment works best for your own personality.
- Connections in the community. While this is more of a pleasant by-product of a company with a good philanthropy and volunteering program, networking is another aspect to consider. When a company is involved in the community, they become a fixture and make connections with a variety of sectors. And even if you’re not looking for a job, networking is a skill that you should always cultivate. When you work with an organization that gives back, you have an opportunity to meet people you may not have had access to within your community.
- Social responsibility. Of course, all of the articles we listed above do indicate that providing a program to give back to the community is an important recruiting tool. Why? Because more potential employees, especially those in the millennial generation, are looking to work with a company that values social responsibility. This can be anything from social justice to environmental issues. So when you’re looking for a company that holds these values, you are also likely to find a company looking for a candidate exactly like you.